SM U-104

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History
German Empire
Name: SM U-104
Ordered: 15 September 1915
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Laid down: 4 August 1916
Launched: 3 July 1917
Commissioned: 12 August 1917
Fate: Depth-charged and sunk 25 April 1918. 41 dead, 1 survivor.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: German Type U 57 submarine
Displacement:
  • 750 t (740 long tons) surfaced
  • 952 t (937 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in) (o/a)
  • 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
Draught: 3.65 m (12 ft)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 2,400 PS (1,765 kW; 2,367 shp) surfaced
  • 2 × 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) submerged
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 × 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph) surfaced
  • 8.8 knots (16.3 km/h; 10.1 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 10,100 nmi (18,700 km; 11,600 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
  • 56 nmi (104 km; 64 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Complement: 4 officers, 32 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Kurt Bernis[2]
  • 1 October 1917 – 25 April 1918
Operations: 4 patrols
Victories: 8 merchant ships sunk 10,795 GRT

SM U-104[Note 1] was a German Type U 57 U-boat during the First World War. U-104 was built at AG Weser in Bremen, launched on 3 July 1917 and commissioned on 12 August 1917. She completed four patrols under Kptlt. Kurt Bernis and was responsible for the sinking of eight vessels of a total of 10,795 gross register tons (GRT). Among these was the American lightship LV 71, stationed at Diamond Shoals; the latter reported the submarine's presence in the area, at which point Bernis notified the lightship of his intentions and allowed her crew to depart before shelling the vessel and sinking her.[3]

Loss[edit]

On 25 April 1918 the U-104 was engaged by USS Cushing in St. George's Channel and severely damaged. Later the same day HMS Jessamine came upon her and dropped further depth-charges, sinking her and leaving but a single survivor of her 42-member crew. The wreckage lies at position 51°59′N 6°26′W / 51.983°N 6.433°W / 51.983; -6.433Coordinates: 51°59′N 6°26′W / 51.983°N 6.433°W / 51.983; -6.433.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[4]
26 October 1917 Sapele  United Kingdom 4,366 Sunk
15 December 1917 Maidag  Norway 1,253 Sunk
21 December 1917 Spro  Norway 1,507 Sunk
25 December 1917 Ajax  Denmark 1,018 Sunk
2 March 1918 Kenmare  United Kingdom 1,330 Sunk
12 April 1918 Njaal  Russian Empire 578 Sunk
16 April 1918 Widwud  Russian Empire 299 Sunk
22 April 1918 Fern  United Kingdom 444 Sunk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot would be translated as His Majesty's Submarine.
  2. ^ Tonnages are in gross register tons

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 12-14.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Kurt Bernis". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 104". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 104". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.